Miami got a huge win vs the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in their first game of the ACC Tournament. This win sets up a match on Friday with Wake Forest, a game that will probably determine Miami’s chances for making the NCAA Tournament, win that game and likely go into the tournamet, lose and more than likely go home.
To get there the Canes had to put together an amazing performance, a grand slam, a walk off, this game had just about everything you could ask for.
It all started in the first inning, after Evan Mckendry sailed through the top with ease, the struggling bats of the Hurricanes woefully emerged from the dugout, or at first it seemed so. Leadoff batter Carl Chester immediately was retired, and Michael Burns came to the plate. Burns you might remember is the underdog who survived cancer, an underdog much like the Canes, one who survived, and is here to help the Canes survive. Burns did the best thing one can do in the first inning of a tournament game, the underdog who plays for the underdog team went yard. After that magical moment Miami led 1-0, but the joy would be shortlived.
In the second and third innings the freshman McKendry struggled for the good guys. In the second after allowing two baserunners, Mckendry gave up a deep double to left field that bounced just fair and confused James Davison with a weird bounce off the wall. Before Davison could get the ball in the infield two Yellow Jackets had scored. After the Canes went down in the bottom of the second, Georgia Tech came to the top of the third looking to tack on a few more runs. Evan Mckendry once again struggled to get control of the inning after allowing two men on. With men at first and second a great double steal call moved GT’s runners to second and third. A balk call then scored the Jackets third run, and Colemon Poje, GT’s star player connected for an RBI single. What seemed like a bright start for the Canes suddenly turned to a 4-1 deficit after two and a half innings.
In the bottom of the third magic happened for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes batters put together several great plate appearances in a row, forcing long battles and drawing singles and walks to load the bases for Romy Gonzalez. Unfortunately Romy, the Canes hero, flew out to right, bringing Hunter Tackett to the plate with two outs in a situation the Hurricanes desperately needed to get a run from. Then Tackett did the unthinkable, he ripped a huge GRAND SLAM into left field to give Miami a 5- 4 lead.
You can listen to the ever tremedous Joe Zagacki call the slam here.
After that things stayed quiet till the fifth, when GT loaded the bases after two walks and a single. After that Jim Morris pulled Mckendry in favor of star closer Frankie Bartow. Things started well for Bartow, after he got a strikeout to get one out for the Canes. Unfortunately in the next at-bat an RBI single tied the game at 5-5, and fortunately Miami got out of the inning with no more damage.
After the fifth the bullpens settled in and both managed to work out of jams with runners on. For Miami after the seventh Cabezas put together an appearance where he pitched an astouding 6.1 innings of no-hit 10 strikeout baseball. Setting up the Hurricanes for a chance to bring the Mark Light Magic to Louisville in the thirteenth. It started with a Hunter Tackett walk, followed by a Chirs Barr single that pushed Tackett all the way to third base. Joe Gomez came to the plate, and in a situation where many assumed that Gomez would have been intentionally walked, Gerogia Tech didn't, and on the first pitch of the at-bat Joe Gomez knocked a single right back up the middle to give Miami the 6-5 win.
Now Miami determines their own future Thursday with a duel with Wake Forest, star All-ACC pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt will be asked to lead the Canes to another victory.
Winning Pitcher: Andrew Cabezas (5-3, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K, 6.1 IP)
Losing Pitcher: Zac Ryan (3-5, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 4.2 IP)
Thursday, May 25th, Friday, May 26th (rain), 3:00 P.M Eastern Time, vs Wake Forest
Hurricanes Starter: Jeb Bargfeldt (7-3, 2.20 ERA)
Wake Forest Starter: Parker Dunshee (9-1, 4.41 ERA)
Radio: 560 WQAM
Television: RSN (Fox Sports Florida and Affiliates)